A Carnation-brand malted milk can

Malted milk or malt powder is a powdered gruel made from a mixture of malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated whole milk powder. The powder is used to add its distinctive flavor to beverages and other foods, but it is also used in baking to help dough cook properly.


William Horlick
Explorer Ernest de Koven Leffingwell poses with cases of Horlick's Malted Milk on Flaxman Island, Alaska, circa 1910.

London pharmacist James Horlick developed ideas for an improved, wheat- and malt-based nutritional supplement for infants. Despairing of his opportunities in the United Kingdom, Horlick joined his brother William, who had gone to Racine, Wisconsin, in the United States, to work at a relative's quarry. In 1873, the brothers formed J & W Horlicks to manufacture their brand of infant food in nearby Chicago.[1] Ten years later, they earned a patent[2] for a new formula enhanced with dried milk. The company originally marketed its new product as "Diastoid", but trademarked the name "malted milk" in 1887.[3][4]

Despite its origins as a health food for infants and invalids, malted milk found unexpected markets. Explorers appreciated its lightweight, nonperishable, nourishing qualities, and they took malted milk on treks worldwide. William Horlick became a patron of Antarctic exploration, and Admiral Richard E. Byrd named Horlick Mountains, a mountain range in Antarctica, after him. Back in the US, people began drinking Horlick's new beverage for enjoyment. James Horlick returned to England to import his American-made product and was eventually made a baronet.[1] Malted milk became a standard offering at soda shops, and found greater popularity when mixed with ice cream in a "malt", for which malt shops were named.[3]


See also


  1. ^ a b "The History of Malted Milk Powder".
  2. ^ U.S. patent 278,967
  3. ^ a b "Wisconsin's Malted Milk Story | Online Exhibits | Wisconsin Historical Society". www.wisconsinhistory.org.
  4. ^ "Horlick's Malted Milk Corporation | Photograph". Wisconsin Historical Society. 17 August 2006.